Keyon Dooling, arch-conservative (Getty Images)
In the grand scheme of this compelling Eastern Conference final between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, Miami's reputation as a group of referee-obsessed crybabies is way down the list of Massive Important Things That Dominate All Media. Yes, things came to a head when Celtics guard Rajon Rondo didn't hesitate for a second before calling out the Heat's "complaining and crying" in a pre-halftime interview during Sunday's Game 4; but in the face of Miami's failure to execute offensively alongside the team's shocking defensive lapses against a lacking offensive team from Boston, kvetching about calls isn't really tilting much.
Still, Celtics guard and respected locker room leader Keyon Dooling points out, the C's wouldn't mind it if the Heat kept going on and on about calls gone the other way. Especially with Thursday's Game 6 set to take place in the unfamiliar confines of Boston's home arena. Dooling, in a discussion with 98.5 FM in Boston, jokingly goaded the Heat into staying a step slow following a non-whistle that didn't go as planned. As passed along by the good folks at Sports Radio Interviews:
"I want them to keep complaining. That's fine with me. I hope they break that habit after this series so we can continue to take advantage of our fast break opportunities. Don't let the cat out of the bag. Let them keep complaining.
"When we see them complaining it means they're frustrated. That means we're doing our job, that means we're aggravating them on defense, we're agitating, we're contesting shots and that means we're making things hard for them so I kind of like to see that but it's been a frustrating series for them. They thought they were just going to walk in and have their way with us and we saw it a little bit different."
Dooling stopped his joshin' around long enough, later in the interview, to point out that the Heat's sometimes-terrifying ability to turn turnovers and missed shots into dunks and lay-ins on the other end prevents Keyon from actually stopping to admire all the whinin' and the moanin'. "You don't really see [the complaining]," Dooling went on, "until you see the film." Heck, I've had the film of Game 5 running all day, and I'm not seeing a whole lot of it even on film.
No, I'm seeing blown defensive assignments and uninspired offensive sets. Sure, there's the odd turned head and patented Dwyane Wade-grimace, but hardly enough to turn the tide in this series.
Now, it's important to remind ourselves that Keyon isn't crediting the complainin' for Boston pulling ahead, or even giving his C's an advantage. He's just, in the catbird seat of needing to take one of two remaining games to advance to the NBA Finals, having a bit of fun at Miami's expense.
Aren't we all, on this lovely Wednesday?
Game 6 is on Thursday. Count the hours. And then the calls.
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